What constitutes the public good in a highly individualistic, consumerist and privatized society? The global financial crisis of 2008 revealed the extent to which the public realm had been eroded over the last thirty years and the inroads that privatization and commercialization have made into the higher education sector. This book explores the institutional and sector-wide implications of the financial crisis for higher education and the lessons to be learnt from that crisis and its aftermath for the university sector as a whole. Jon Nixon argues that the university now has to be re-imagined as a social, civic and cosmopolitan good that is central to the well-being of civil society and its citizens. Key chapters focus on capability, reasoning and purposefulness as the common resources of higher education. There is an urgent need for sector-wide planning and collaboration, the development of a public culture across institutions, and a broadening of the higher education curriculum. Higher Education and the Public Good points a way forward to the new and emergent civic and cosmopolitan spaces of learning.
'Beautifully written, of wide scope and offering a much needed and humane vision of higher education as serving the public good - it is difficult to imagine a better book on the university than this. If only every university vice-chancellor and principal would pay it at least some attention.'--Ron Barnett, Emeritus Professor of Higher Education and Consultant, Institute of Education, University of London, UK
Preface and Acknowledgements; 1. The Public in Retreat; 2. Social Imaginaries; 3. Civic Imaginaries; 4. Cosmopolitan Imaginaries; Interlude: From imaginaries to actualities; 5. Human Capability; 6. Human Reasoning; 7. Human Purpose; 8. The Return of the Public; Coda: A sense of possibility; References; Index.